Friday, December 11, 2009

Weight Watchers Weigh In #2

My second weight watchers meeting and weigh in was yesterday and I am happy to report that I lost 3.4 lbs this week, bringing my grand total to -7.2lbs!! I was especially excited when my leader gave me a pretty gold sticker because I hit the 5lb loss mark. I respond really well to little prizes like stickers so that worked out well for me.

My leader had some shocking revelations about this week's topic (which was stress) to share with the group. You guys might want to sit down for this one. Ready? Here it comes...eating is a coping mechanism for stress. HA. Thanks for the news flash. Alert the media.

Ok, but in all seriousness, even though I have Captain Obvious as my weight watchers leader, I am really really glad I signed up. The feeling of accountability (knowing I have to get on that scale each week/that it means something/that I could possibly earn shiny things like stickers) keeps me on track and actually gets me really excited throughout the week. And, to be fair, a lot of people in my group are learning lots and it makes me so happy for them. Some of my colleagues have never given a thought to portion size and in the past, haven't thought twice about mowing down multiple big fat cookies at a staff meeting. Now, I see some of them enter the kitchen at work, look at a big platter of baked goods, and turn around to get their apple out of the fridge, which makes me proud!

Friday, December 4, 2009

Top 10 Reasons To Put The Cookie (or cake or any other fatty deliciousness down)...

10 A moment on the lips = ten years on the hips.

9. You will regret it later. Pinky swear...

8. If you have to walk the length of a football field to walk off one little M&M, how long do you think it's going to take you to work off a treat that isn't pea-sized?

7. Carrots and celery are just as tasty as that yummy baked good. (Ok no, they aren't at all...but at least they won't add to the size of your ass).

6. Nothing tastes as good as skinny feels (Side note on this one: Apparently, Kate Moss recently told some magazine that this is one of her mantras and received tons of criticism for encouraging girls to starve themselves. I'm not saying don't eat. I'm saying it's not worth it to eat crap that's going to make you fat and feel bad about yourself).

5. Santa eats cookies. Look at him. Do you want to look like that? I don't think so.

4. You exercised. Let's be real, exercise makes us feel good and some of us even want/like to do it, but really deep down, if you were naturally skinny, you probably wouldn't have exercised at all and also you wouldn't have to worry about eating sweets, but since you aren't and you do, don't waste all of your efforts and put the calories you just burned right back on...

3. Bathing suit season is only 6 months away.

2. Cookies are evil.

And, if those fabulous 9 reasons don't work and you still want that treat...

1. No one is perfect and balance is key. So, don't obsess. Enjoy your treat. Just remember, the first bite is really what tastes the best. Allow yourself that, but don't go crazy (or you'll turn into this guy)!!

Thursday, December 3, 2009

Woohoo: First Weight Watchers Weigh In

Quick update! Down 3.8 lbs at first Weight Watchers weigh in this week. Woohoo! I'm especially excited because this last week was so off with all of the pie and stuffing and other impossible-to-resist goodies.

Hoping to step it up for next week's weigh in!

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

An Italian Tradition: food, food, and oh wait, more food

Like most big Italian families, my family likes to eat, especially around the holidays. Don't get me wrong: we are equal opportunity eaters. We don't require some holiday to get together and pounds delciousness...nope, not us. We'll use any excuse really--from a birthday to a holiday to a Sunday. In fact, growing up, I went to my Grandmother Yola's house every single Sunday for a huge family dinner. There were 16 of us that gathered around the table every week. The usual meal was pasta topped with my Grandmother's gravy. And what feast could be complete without a bowl of steaming hot meatballs and a loaf of Italian bread?

These days, we don't eat as many huge pasta Sunday dinners, but we sure know how to do it up (aka waaay over do it) for a holiday. To give you an idea, this past Thanksgiving we started with a ton of picky appetizer type foods, before we moved on to the traditional Italian antipasto (and by traditional I mean best to ever exist) and then indulged in the full turkey dinner. The real disgustingness occurred during dessert when we had 9 pies! After all of that eating, we did not have room for one of my most favorite holiday traditions: the stuffed artichoke. I don't know why we eat the artichokes last, but I know that for as long as I've been alive, that is just what we have done. So, like every year, no one could fit the artichokes at the end of the meal, so we all take them home and enjoy them the next day.

Usually, my Grandmother makes the artichokes but because she is getting a bit older and I am the world's best Granddaughter, I decided to make them this year. And, because I am so proud of myself and because they turned out peeerfect, I am going to be nice and share the awesome recipe with all of you! And, good news, these artichokes are a tasty treat that are good for you!

Start by rinsing the artichokes. Then, cut the bottoms (leave a little stem) and a bit of the tops off of the artichokes. They should look like this:

Next, combine breadcrumbs, evoo, parsley (dried) salt, pepper, and garlic powder in a large bowl. Mix ingredients together. (And, if you're really hardcore like Yola and I, you'll use your hands to mix). Your mixture should look like this (without the shadow of your iphone):


Next, grab an artichoke and use your fingers to open it up a bit. Hold artichoke over bowl and grab a handful of breadcrumbs. Sprinkle the breadcrumbs over the artichoke, ensuring that the breadcrumbs fill in the space between the leaves. Stuff all of your artichokes and put them in a pan. Make sure you pack the artichokes tightly into the pan, so that they are all standing up and not leaning. Fill the pan about halfway with water. At this point, your artichokes should look amazing like this:

Put the pan with the water and artichokes on the stove and cook until the leaves are tender and you can easily break them off. While the artichokes are cooking, preheat your oven to 375 degrees. When the leaves on the artichoke are tender, remove the pan from the stove and put it in the oven for 15-20 minutes. They should now look like this:

Note: you can serve your artichokes right away or keep them overnight. If you choose to keep them overnight, wait to bake them until before being served. If you like leftovers, they can also be heated up in the microwave.

Your mouth is probably watering by now looking at the pictures of my masterpieces (and if it isn't I don't know what is wrong with you). Now for the good news...these tasty little treats are good for you! Sure the huge bowl of breadcrumbs looks like trouble, but when you think about how many breadcrumbs end up in one artichoke, it's not much. I would estimate that in one artichoke, there is probably 1 tsp of evoo (1 WW pt) and 1/4 cup of breadcrumbs (2 WW pts). Combine that with the artichoke (1 WW pt) and you have a phenomenal 4 point meal.

Finally, I leave you with a warning and a secret.

Warning: These suckers are a HUGE hit. If you bring them somewhere, they will all get eaten and you will become known for them and then you'll always have to make them.

Secret: They are not that hard to make! You'll be famous for your artichokes and people will think you slaved for hours and hours to make the Italian tradition when you really didn't!

Just wait until I post pictures of my Grandmother's famous Christmas Cookies (15 types). Sorry though, you won't be getting those recipes...they are a secret (and also don't go with the whole healthygirl theme)!